On The Hottest June On Record, Most Media Missed This Key Context

The Only Outlets To Connect Record To Climate Change: AP, ABC, Fox News

Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

Hottest June

The globe recently experienced the hottest June on record, fitting in with the trend of global warming. Yet several top media outlets reported on the announcement without mentioning climate change at all.

2014 has been a record-breaking year for global temperatures. On July 21, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced that the average global temperature for the month of June was the hottest experienced for 134 years of records. This finding follows the hottest May on record, the hottest March to June period on record, and the third hottest first half of the year on record. The average ocean surface temperatures for the month of June were the warmest on record for any month of the year. NOAA's climate monitoring chief Derek Arndt explained succinctly to the Associated Press -- the only top U.S. print source* that reported on the findings in the context of global warming -- stating that the planet is in the "steroid era of the climate system." Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck added: "This is what global warming looks like."

NOAA Map

But if you consume mainstream media, you likely missed this context. CBSNBCMSNBCUSA Today, the Wall Street Journal,** and The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang all covered the announcement without mentioning its key context: global warming, driven by human activities, is making hotter temperatures the norm.

Temp Records

The July 21 edition of ABC's World News With Diane Sawyer was the only broadcast network program to report on the record in the context of global warming, introducing it as "a new statistic for arguments about climate change," and going on to discuss extreme weather events currently happening across the United States:

Even Fox News mentioned global warming in its brief discussion of the record-breaking heat. On The Five, co-host Bob Beckel brought up the record during the "One More Thing" segment. He mocked his co-hosts' relentless global warming denial -- the program accounts for over half of the network's misleading coverage on climate change -- and quipped that "it's got nothing to do with global warming... It just happens to be... a lot of people burned fires... sunspots. That's what it is." From the July 21 edition of The Five:

BOB BECKEL: The world has just had its hottest June on record since -- they've been keeping records since 1880 -- and this is the 353rd month in a row where the heat index in the world has made a record. In a row. It's got nothing to do with global warming. Nothing to do with that. It just happens to be, I don't know, a lot of people burned fires. I don't know. There's a reason why we oughta -- sun spots. That's what it is. Sun spots.

This may be one of the few times that the mainstream media should consider taking notes from Fox News.

*Outlets examined were the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles TimesThe New York TimesReuters, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC.

**A Wall Street Journal blog did make the connection to climate change, but its news article on the topic did not.

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